What 'Molly' - the Silicon Valley elites' drug of choice at sex parties - does to your brain and body

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Unsplash/Anthony Delanoix

Exclusive sex parties fueled by drugs like Molly are apparently how the tech world elite like to get down in Silicon Valley, according to an excerpt from Emily Chang's new book, "Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley." Chang reported the events, in which women are both pressured to participate yet stigmatized for doing so, are common enough that they're not even really a secret.

Molly - a nickname for MDMA, itself an abbreviation for the drug commonly known as ecstasy - has been a party drug for decades, ever since psychopharmacologist Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin synthesized and tested the drug on himself in the 1970s.Advertisement

Shulgin, known as the godfather of ecstasy, was entranced by his testing. He began to advocate for the use of MDMA in clinical settings, but it soon started turning up in clubs, leading to a widespread ban in 1985. Once ecstasy developed a reputation for being adulterated with more dangerous chemicals, people starting asking for "Molly" as an allegedly pure form of the drug. Here's what we know about what MDMA does to your body and brain.